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This casserole with its full-bodied Mediterranean flavor goes with roast lamb or beef, steaks, chops, or grilled mackerel, tuna, or swordfish. It is also good served cold. The potatoes need no other liquid than that rendered by the tomatoes as they cook together.
Many recipes calling for tomatoes direct that they be peeled, seeded, and juiced. This applies to tomato sauces, to the tomato fondues which are used in egg dishes, to various Basque or Provencal recipes, and to the diced tomato pulp which may be poached in a soup or a sauce. One pound or 4 or 5 medium tomatoes will yield about 1½ cups of pulp.
To Peel Tomatoes
Use firm, ripe, red tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes one or two at a time in boiling water to cover, and boil for exactly 10 seconds. Remove. Cut out the stem. Peel off the skin starting from the stem hole.
After a 10-second blanching, tomato skin is loosened and peels off easily
To Seed and Juice Tomatoes
Cut peeled or unpeeled tomatoes in half crosswise, not through the stem. Squeeze each half gently to extract the seeds and juices from the center of the tomato. If they are to receive a cold stuffing, sprinkle the interior with salt which will draw more juices out, then invert them in a colander.
Gently press the juice and seeds out of the tomato half.
Diced, Sliced, or Chopped Tomato Pulp
Chop, dice, or slice the peeled, seeded, and juiced tomato halves. Roughly chopped tomato pulp is tomates concassees.
OccasionBuffet, Casual Dinner Party
Dietary ConsiderationEgg-free, Gluten-free, Kosher, Peanut Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free
Taste and TextureCheesy, Garlicky, Herby, Rich, Savory, Sharp, Umami
- 2 cups thinly sliced onions
- 2 Tb olive oil
- 1½ lbs, tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and juiced (4 to 5 tomatoes, 2¼ cups pulp; see Notes)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 6 canned anchovies packed in olive oil, drained
- 2 cloves mashed garlic
- ¼ tsp basil
- ¼ tsp thyme
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 2 Tb olive oil (include as part of this the oil from the anchovy can)
- 2 lbs “boiling” potatoes sliced 1/8 inch thick (6 to 7 cups)
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan or Swiss cheese
- 1 tsp olive oil
- A small saucepan
- An oiled baking dish about 10 inches in diameter and 2 inches deep
- Aluminum foil if necessary
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cook the onions and olive oil slowly together in the saucepan until the onions are tender but not browned. Cut the tomato pulp into strips 3/8 inch wide. Fold the tomatoes and salt into the onions. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, mash the anchovies into a paste with the garlic, herbs, pepper, and oil.
Spread one quarter of the tomatoes and onions in the baking dish. Over them arrange half the potato slices, then half the anchovy mixture, then half the remaining tomatoes and onions. Spread over this the rest of the potatoes and the anchovy mixture; top with the last of the tomatoes and onions. Spread on the cheese, and sprinkle with olive oil.
Place in middle level of preheated oven and bake for about 40 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and have absorbed all of the juice from the tomatoes. If the top browns too much during cooking, cover very loosely with a sheet of foil.
1961, 1983, 2001 Alfred A. Knopf
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